World

Dutch court rules curfew to curb COVID-19 must be lifted

February 16, 2021
 A court in The Hague ruled on Tuesday that the current curfew in the Netherlands to stop the spread of COVID-19 should be lifted as it violates freedom of movement and assembly. — Courtesy photo
A court in The Hague ruled on Tuesday that the current curfew in the Netherlands to stop the spread of COVID-19 should be lifted as it violates freedom of movement and assembly. — Courtesy photo



THE HAGUE — A court in The Hague ruled on Tuesday that the current curfew in the Netherlands to stop the spread of COVID-19 should be lifted as it violates freedom of movement and assembly.

"The curfew must be lifted immediately," the court said in a statement, adding that the government abused its emergency powers.

"The curfew is a far-reaching violation of the right to freedom of movement and privacy and (indirectly) limits, among other things, the right to freedom of assembly and demonstration," the court said in a statement posted to social media.

The case was brought by a group protesting against the introduction of the curfew which is in effect from 9:00 pm to 4:30 am until March 2.

"We fight for the preservation of a democratic constitutional state in which our children still have the opportunity to develop themselves in freedom and to live a life with their own beliefs and opinions," the group "Virus Truth" says on their website.

This is the first curfew in the country since World War II and provoked mass protests.

The special law on which the government relied to impose the curfew is intended for "very urgent and exceptional circumstances," the court said on Tuesday.

"This act offers the cabinet the option of imposing a curfew in very urgent and exceptional circumstances, without first having to go through a legislative process — involving the Senate and the House of Representatives in advance," the court said.

A judge ruled that "the introduction of the curfew did not imply the particular urgency required" to be able to use the emergency law.

The government has not yet reacted to the judgment. — Euronews


February 16, 2021
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